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FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace

News/Business. An analysis of top newsmakers and events. (CC) (Stereo)

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U.s. 35, Libya 25, Qaddafi 11, Us 11, U.n. 9, Muammar Qaddafi 7, Bahrain 6, Yemen 6, Tripoli 6, United States 5, Benghazi 5, America 4, Usaa 4, Obama 4, Tepco 4, Graham 3, Barack Obama 3, Obama Administration 3, Mullen 3, Lindsey Graham 2,
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  FOX News    FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace    News/Business. An analysis of top  
   newsmakers and events. (CC) (Stereo)  

    March 20, 2011
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace, the latest on the battle of libya and the nuclear crisis in japan. right now, on fox news sunday. ♪ missile strikes, the u.s. and britain fire more than 100 cruise missiles, as quo litigation forces act to protect the libyan rebels from muammar qaddafi. we'll have an update from libya, and, talk with a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen, live, only on fox news sunday. then, two leading senators weigh in on the mission, lindsey graham and jack reed. japan works to contain a nuclear
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disaster, what does the crisis there mean for energy policy at home? we'll talk with the secretary of internally, steven chu and we'll ask our sunday panel if the president is taking the lead on the tough issues or following. all, right now on fox news sunday. >> chris: we are trashing two major stories, we have a reporter in libya where the u.s. and allies are using military force, to protect the anti-qaddafi rebels. and, in japan, where officials are making progress for bringing a nuclear plant under control. we'll have more on that, later and talk with the secretary of energy, but, first, libya, allied officials say they hit more than 20 air defense sites, u.s. stealth bombers struck a major libyan airfield trying to destroy much of the country's
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air force and muammar qaddafi called the raids terrorism and said the attackers will be defeated. the latest from steve harrigan in tripoli, steve? >> reporter: despite promises of a cease-fire with qaddafi's head of armed services we are hearing out going heavy fire coming from the capital in tripoli, i'm seeing them firing tracers going from three different points in the heavy 50 caliber guns firing as well. it is out going fire, and, an airbase just outside the capital, tripoli was attacked yesterday and, that might be the source of more attacks today, and qaddafi forces continue to strike around the city of misrata and good news for the rebels around the stronghold at benghazi, it appears french jets got there in time, to stop a tank assault on the city and there are reports, now the people who have previously fled the rebel strong hold are now going back and the rebels have gun to advance, and advance
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again on the way towards the capital here, as far as qaddafi, himself, he remains defiant, promising it will be a long war but it is unusual in the past week he has been on television several times, triumphant, defiant and now, just on the radio, he is calling in, his statements, perhaps in hiding or perhaps communications have been damaged, back to you. >> chris: steve harrigan, thanks for that and stay safe. joining us now, to discuss operation odyssey dawn and the role of u.s. forces, this is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen and admiral, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> good to be with you. what is the latest on the military operation, do we now control the skies over libya, and have you gotten an assessment of the action last night. >> as we've pointed out, we hit a lot of target focused on command and control and air defense and, actually, attacked some of the forces on the
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ground, in the vicinity of benghazi and there are french airplanes, over benghazi, right now, and, we will have a 24/7 cap, if you will, there, from now on and effectively, he hasn't flown anything in the last couple of days, and the no-fly zone which we were cast to put in place is actually in place. >> chris: have muammar qaddafi's forces pulled back from benghazi, the immediate demand, and if they don't will coalition forces take out artillery and tanks. >> anything outside the city, we see from a tank or artillery standpoint will be taken out, i have seen him pull back and moving in, we have sporadic reports, that he is moving some force around, but, it is a little early, and i haven't received any extensive battle damage assessment across the totality of the strikes but we have had a significant impact,
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very early in establishing the no-fly zone, and, supporting the mission which is to protect civilians and also to be able to provide corridors, or conditions tor humanitarian relief. >> chris: this is a very fast moving story and it came across the wires that russia is formally calling on the u.s. and france and britain to stop nonselective use of force. has that been communicated to you? what does that mean and, your you going to change what you are doing. >> now, actually -- i was in a conversation this morning with general carter hamm, we continue from a coalition standpoint, to press forward. so, we have expectations that today not just united states planes will be flying but planes from other countries, the brits, the french, the danes, the spanish, the italians, thus far. so, we continue to press on with the operation, and, we have seen sim suppress dramatically, his
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air defenses are up sporadically and a are mobile, at this point tied to the position of his troops and we will continue to carry out the mission, until directed otherwise and i just received no other direction. >> chris: do you have an understanding or reaction to what the russians are calling for? >> actually, i don't, at this point. >> chris: when you mentioned a number of countries that are going to be involved, in an operational sense, when will we see the arab nations join the fight. >> well, actually they've started to move their planes into theater and we expect as soon as they get in, which i expect in the next day or two, they'll be in the fight and there are significant engagements, abroad engagements to see what additional capabilities would be committed and that is being worked hard. >> chris: why haven't you gone over qaddafi's command and control compound in tripoli as ronald reagan did in 1986. >> the focus of the united nations security council
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resolution was really benghazi, specifically and to protect civilians and we have done that, we started to do that. clearly, we have taken down the important nodes to remove his capability and this is not about going after muammar qaddafi himself or attacking him, at this point in time, it is about achieving these narrow and relatively limited objectives so he stops killing his people and humanitarian support can be provided. >> chris: i want to get to that in a second. first i want to follow-up on what harrigan said. qaddafi calls the operation colonial crusader aggression, the report today from libyan state media is that he is handing out weapons to a million of his citizens, and his regime says there have been 64 now, 64 civilian deaths. your reaction. >> we have worked hard to absolutely minimize and
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eliminate any civilian casualties, i have seen no reports of civilian casualties, though, i have heard that he has so stated, he has not been reliable in the past. the military capability that we have seen, so far, has not been that effective. and that doesn't mean that he can't do damage in the future but we'll continue to press him very, very hard in that regard. >> chris: let's talk about the mission, because, i think it is fair to say, over the last few days, secretary of state hillary clinton and president obama have spe sent conflicting signals. let's watch. >> we do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by colonel qaddafi to leave. >> president barack obama: we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal. specifically, the protection of civilians in libya. >> chris: admiral, as you understand your mission, not the u.n. resolution but your orders from the president, have we given up on regime change,
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ousting qaddafi from power. >> this particular military mission is very focused on ensuring that he can't kill his civilians, and that we are able to support humanitarian efforts and, specifically for us, we're currently in the lead, to move to a support role, over the next few days, and i don't know exactly when that is going to occur, in terms of the coalition taking the leadership here. position. of the operation. and, we're on track to do that. i think, to know where it is going long term from my perspective on the military, from the military perspective, it is -- i have not been given a mission beyond the one i described. >> chris: let me ask you, however, as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, does it make sense to leave qaddafi in power, even fits just in tripoli, where he can create an enormous amount of trouble for the world. >> well, i think he clearly has been isolate internationally and has had the arab league, his own
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peers, if you will, or colleagues strongly against him, an arms embargo is more effective and the one -- >> but unthose similar conditions he brought down the plane at lockerbie and bombed the nightclub that killed americans in 1986, even an isolated muammar qaddafi, i don't have to tell you, sir, is very dangerous. >> he's a very dangerous guy, very unpredictable and certainly, i think -- i think all of us will continue to bring a lot of pressure. but to say exactly what the outcome is now i can't do that. >> chris: you say and there's a couple of times you have used the caveat and said this is the mission for now. are you saying, it is possible that the mission may change and maybe -- may take out qaddafi. >> i will not speculate on that, chris, how long will the u.s. be engaged in libya and you said in days we will move from the lead role, there is a rumor the
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president ordered u.s. military involvement in this mission, will be days, not weeks. first that is true? and second, is it realistic. >> when i talked earlier about getting into a support role, and, expectations are that we will continue to support the mission, particularly with unique capabilities, that we have -- which would include intelligence support, jamming capabilities, and, focus on the continued enforcement of the no fly zone and the mission overall, but i don't have an exact date in mind and i don't have -- i haven't been given a date by the president, where u.s. military participation here would end. >> chris: there are reports that defense secretary gates and the top military command, i assume includes you, did not favor the mission, but the president sided with the -- sided with the foreign policy problem, putting secretary of state hillary clinton, u.n. ambassador susan rice and samantha powers of the
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national security council over the pentagon's concern. is that true. >> i have spoken to this before i got direction to execute it, i spoke to this as a very complex operation. and it is a complex operation, and as any military operation is, it is dangerous. and, i wouldn't -- you know, my job, certainly isn't to speak to how we got here. my job now is to execute the orders, that the president has given me and that is what we are doing. >> chris: is it fair to say he sided with this group that i talked about, the foreign policy group, over the pentagon and the military group. >> i think the president has spoken about how difficult these decisions are, how seriously he takes them. and, there is always a debate on major decisions like this. that said, that debate has occurred, the decision has been made, and, we're all about now carrying out the president's direction. >> chris: finally, again, i don't have to tell you, you are
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already fighting two wars against muslim nations, in iraq an afghanistan and there was already concern that the military was stretched too thin. how can you take on a third operation? is something going to have to give. >> no one understands better than i that the -- the stress and the strain we have been under for a long time in our tenth year of war, both in anything and afghanistan. and that said, we are within our capability and capacity to be able to execute this mission. it is, as has been -- the direction has been given to me, it is limited, it is very focused, and in that regard, we are more than able, as has been shown in the last 24 hours to carry that out and carry it out very effectively. >> chris: thank you very much for coming in today and our thoughts, of course, are with our troops. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: up next, we continue our coverage of the military operation in libya, as we get reaction from two key members of
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the senate armed services committee.
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>> joining us are two leading members of the senate armed services committee, from home state of south carolina, republican lindsey graham and here in studio, democrat jack reed. senator graham, let me start with you. what do you think of the military operation in libya and the support role the u.s. will be playing. >> i'm glad we are finally doing something, i don't know how many people died as we wait to do something, thank god for strong women -- in the obama administration, i don't know what finally got the president to act, but i'm very worried we are taking a back seat rather than a leadership role, the british and french have been great an prime minister cameron
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said, this action is necessary, and, legal and right. and, president obama is talking about limited action of days, qaddafi is not the legitimate leader of libya, and he's an international criminal, and, he should be investigated by attorney general holder for his actions in pan am, and, we should isolate the regime which is to order all troops back to the garrison and we should knock out his radio and tv ability to communicate with his own people, and we shouldn't pay qaddafi's forces any money when it comes to libyan oil, and isolate strangle and replace the man, should be our goal. >> chris: i want to make clear, i understand, are you saying the problem is the definition of the mission, or, the fact we are letting the french and the british take the lead? >> as the definition of the mission we relished leading the free world and it is like leading the free world is an inconvenience and i want to be a good partner and i want the arab world, young arabs and iranians see us as a strong, effective
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partner for their hope and dreams of being free and i think the president has caveated this way too much, almost like it is a nuisance and is a great opportunity to replace a tyrannical dictator, not a legitimate leader, an international cook and we should seize the moment and talk about replacing him. >> chris: two aspects, the formation, first of all, of the coalition and the question of whether the u.s. should be taking a lead role or letting the british and french take a lead role and also the question of the definition of the mission which we just heard the chairman of the joint chiefs say, is simply to get him to stop killing civilians but is not regime change. >> first i think the president and his colleague, secretary children have done a superb job in building international support, without the arab league's endorsement, there would not have been a successful u.n. resolution and we'd be frustrated now and, in fact, we
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might have been pulled into this without the international support we need and not just militarily but financially, and, in particular, at this critical moment when we are struggling with the deficit. and i think the president's leadership created the conditions for an international coalition. we're shaping the battlefield right now, initially we have the capacity, but we'll be able to handle it quickly, to french, to arab forces, like a -- and others and i think will send a strong signal to the arab world this is not about american interests, it is about democracy, and libya. >> chris: let's get to the more important question which is the mission. now that we have taken on qaddafi, now that we have bloodies his nose, we have done more than that, can we allow him to stay in power? he can create trouble in the world in a weakened state that's king of tripoli. >> what we have done now is taken the first step, but, because we have a u.n.
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resolution, that provides for robust operations to protect the people of libya, there is the possibility of, i think, expanding this operation and not with u.s. forces, but, frankly, with other forces, like the french, the british, the qataries and that will send a strong signal to qaddafi that his days should be limited. we have to consider, not the u.s., but internationally, some type of stabilization force, the most significant step i think going forward. but, the flexibility gives the u.n. and the international -- >> you are saying you want boots on the ground? >> not u.s. forces, the president rightly ruled that out, but there are many forces capable of helping but the situation i think is such, at this juncture, that we will protect the citizens of libya, and, i think eventually, what you will see, is qaddafi's
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position becomes less and less tenable and, then, you have international mechanisms who can move a and stop negotiation an eject qaddafi from power and also, coordinate with the elements in opposition and try to develop a stable government. >> chris: we're running out of time. i want to talk about a couple of other things, senator, do you think you can negotiate muammar qaddafi out of power? >> no, i think he should be branded for what he is and i think our government should investigate the role he played in bombing pan am flight 103 and he's an international criminal, we should isolate his regime as jack said, we should knock off his radio and tv station, any military units in libya, that come to his aid, should be destroyed. we should not pay him or anybody in his -- on his side of the ledger any oil money, and, let me just put it simply: this is the best chance to get rid of qaddafi in my life if we
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don't get rid of him we'll pay a heavy price down the road. the obama administration owns libya with qaddafi, get rid of this man and don't be uncertain in your statements, be bold, be effective and work with the international community, and, radio place this international outlaw, sooner rather than later. >> chris: let me take you to a couple of other quick issues, and i'll ask you to be brief. president obama went to the u.n. security council to get approval. authorization for the use of force, should he go to congress? >> i don't believe he needs to go to congress. i'm gladly vote on what he did and it is in parent within the authority of the commander-in-chief to take such action, we have been overly cautious and unnervingly undecisive and i wish we'd acted sooner and i don't need to bless it beer he took the action, and i'll be glad to vote on it afterwards, the u.n. security
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council not been used every time we have force, i am glad we have international support. but i don't want the model to be that you have to go to the u.n. to teal with tyranny, because russia and china will be less than friendly to getting rid of dictators, because in many ways they are countries run by dictators. >> chris: senator reed, should the president get authorization from congress. >> the president should notify is on the war powers act, like all of his predecessors, and, that gives us the opportunity to review what he has done and, like lindsey, if there is a proposal coming before the congress, then i would have no difficulty in supporting the actions. >> chris: a minute left. and, we are taking the action, ostensibly, to prevent qaddafi from brutally repressing and killing his civilians, protesters in his country. meanwhile our allies in yemen and in bahrain have been doing the same, protesters in their country, in fact, 47 were killed
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by the government, in yemen on friday. question, you each have 30 second, senator graham should we intervene in those countries? they are our allies. should we intervene. >> we should push back against using live ammunition against people who are protesting and the deterioration in the middle east is because of indecisive leadership and the people in yemen and bahrain don't believe there is a downside of shooting their own people because we let muammar qaddafi come back and if we deal with him decisively we have better leverage in bahrain and yemen and and if we don't, all hell is going to break loose in the middle east, because nobody will follow a weak america. >> unlike libya we have constant communication with the leadership in yemen and bahrain and secretary gates was in bahrain and making it clear to the king there, and our diplomats in yemen, making clear to president saleh, that they have to respect the rights o
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people, and have to allow peaceful protests and cannot use violence to suppress the legitimate concerns of the people, that is the message we have to send and we are sending it. >> chris: senators, thank you very much for coming in and what aing in on the fast-moving story. thank you, senators. up next, japan battles a nuclear melt down, what does it mean for the u.s.? answers from the secretary of energy. when we come right back. we're with you when you're saving for your dreams. [ woman ] when you want a bank that travels with you. with you when you're ready for the next move. [ male announcer ] now that wells fargo and wachovia have come together, what's in it for you? unprecedented streth, the stability of the leading community bank in thnation and wit12,000 atms andousands of branches, we're with you in more ways and places than ever before. with you when you want the most from your bank. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far. those of us who know grass doesn't turn green
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>> chris: now the crisis in japan, where the country is still struggle, to get a nuclear power plant under control. here's the latest. authorities now say once the emergency is resolved the entire complex will be scrapped. power has been restored at the nuclear plant, but they have not yet tried to turn on cooling systems, at the most damaged reactors. in tokyo, radioactive iodine has been detected in drinking water
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and food from some farms, now shows increased radiation levels. greg palkot is tracking the story from osaka. greg? >> chris, mixed news on several fronts of the story, authorities spent the weekend dousing with water the two most dangerous nuclear reactors, trying to cool them down and trying to bring radioactivity levels down, and there was a spike in gas, and one of the reactors and they are keeping an eye on that and there is electricity hooked up to yet another reactor and the folks want to turn the coolant pumps on in the reactor and that has not happened yet and shoppers here sunday reacting wear really to the news that radioactive iodine or traces of the stuff have been found in milk and spinach, coming from the affected area, though smaller traces in the water, no health risk is implied behind that, according to authorities but they are deciding what to do on that in the next 24 hours, finally, the relief and rescue efforts continue following the quake and tsunami, and a
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remarkable story on sunday. found amid the rubble an 80-year-old woman, and her 16-year-old grandson. discovered alive after 9 days, and considering all of that time, in the rubble, there, in fritt good shape, still, the death toll, and missing 20,000 and climbing and the number, chris, expected to go up in the coming days. back to you. >> chris: greg palkot, thanks for that. joining us now, secretary of energy, steven chu and, mr. secretary, welcome to fox news sunday. >> thanks. >> chris: what is the latest from japan? how are officials there doing in cooling the reactors, and the pools of spent fuel. >> they are using fire trucks to spray the spent fuel pools, they are looking at the reactors -- power is being restored and we expect that perhaps today they can try the standard pumps in the reactors. >> chris: are you hopeful? how would you characterize the situation? >> i think with each passing
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hour, each passing day, seems to be more under control, and, so, we step-by-step, they are making very good progress. >> chris: i don't want to minimize the threat but are we overstating -- and by "we" i think the media, primarily, overstating the danger from radiation, especially in the u.s., but, even in japan, more americans die from air pollution in this country, each year, than all of the people that were killed from chernobyl and, the radiation levels in japan are nothing like that. so, are we overstating the danger? >> i think you make a good point. the people in the u.s., u.s. territories, are in no danger. it is unlikely they will be exposed to danger. there is concern about u.s. citizens in japan and we are monitoring the situation very closely. but, we'll see what comes and, as i said, day by day, hour by hour, the focus is on mitigation, of the issue. >> chris: there are reports, that tepco, the company that
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owns the property, delayed in taking steps to control the crisis, such as using sea water, because it didn't want to destroy its property. first of all, is that true? and, secondly, should tepco simply bury the reactors in sand and cement as the russian did in chernobyl? would that solve the problem. >> first, i don't know the exact chronology but my understanding was, tepco, soon after, began to use sea water to cool the reactor and that was the right decision. and, you are quite right, once you use sea water the reactors are not recover can be babrecov >> chris: is there any indication, tepco, delayed some action because it was trying to protect its investment. >> i have no indication of that and going beyond that, i think what the russians did, is -- it appears unlikely that you would need those scenarios, there are
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partial melt downs in the three reactors and may be a containment leak in one of them but far less stress, it could be brought under control and minimize the contamination. >> chris: this week, germany, ordered that its 7 oldest nuclear reactors be shut down. pending' three month review. why is that not being done in this country? >> the nrc has a deliberative process what to do about the reactors, and the german, i believe the german order was, to review the life extension of those reactors. and i'm not sure about the shut down but, the erc is an argue zoi -- organization that will be reviewing closely. >> chris: we seem to disagree, our reporting is they called for shutting down the 7 oldest plants. they are taking more drastic actions than the u.s., are they overreacting?
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or are we under reacting? >> i can't speak to the germans. if they did order a shut down of those reactors, i don't -- can't speak to that directly but the nrc is looking at all of the reactors and they have -- are a very prudent agency and we'll see what they do. >> chris: let's look at the situation in the country. there are now 104 nuclear power plants in the u.s., the last metropolitan for construction of what -- permit for construction of a fully functional nuclear power plant was in 1978 and 23 of the u.s. reactors -- i couldn't read my own writing here -- use understand the same mark-1 design as the plan in japan and critics question the safety of that plant. of those reactors, and the pools for spent fuel on top. question, do you have full confidence in all of our
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reactors, and, is it possible that the long moratorium on building new reactors has saddled the u.s. with out of date technology? >> well, it is true that 23 of the reactors now are operating the -- in the u.s. are of that design and since those reactors were built there were upgrades in this -- the safety of those reactors. and, that is a process, the nrc continues to do and there are additional safety measures taken over the years, and with this action in japan there will be a thorough review going forward about all of the reactors in the u.s. >> chris: do you think it is possible -- it is amazing there isn't a single fully constructed planted in this country the permit was issued since 1978. do you think in fact the long moratorium after three mile island work against us in terms of having state of the art technology in our nuclear infrastructure? >> no, quite to the contrary. the reactors are constantly being upgraded, there are knew designs that were developed,
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some of the newer designs, westing house and ge are safer than the earlier designs, and that was a mark-1 and that was a very early design and the newer reactors, being designed now -- >> chris: 23 of our reactors are mark-1s. >> again going to that point there were already safety upgrades in those reactors, and, there will continue to be in all of the existing reactors if it is warrant. >> chris: the nuclear regulatory commission has called for a 50 mile evacuation zone around the reactor in japan. but, in new york state, more than 21 million americans live that close to the indian point plant we're looking at here, which is just 34 miles from manhattan. new york's governor, andrew cuomo called for shutting down that plant. is he overreacting? >> well, i think again, the evacuation plans will be looked
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at, and studied in great detail. the indian point reactor is not in the situation like in japan, but, i think again, we will be looking at whether it is... whether those evacuation plans are adequate. >> chris: it is not -- to a certain degree, you cannot do anything about it, new york city is where it is and the plant is where it is. is it safe to have a plant, when you see what happened in plant, a huge accidental and the result was they said everybody need to get away from 50 miles, 21 million americans live within 50 miles of indian point. >> i think that that is an issue, and, again we will have to look at whether this reactor should remain but again, i don't want to make any -- jump to judgment about what we should do going forward. >> chris: are you saying the issue of whether to keep indian point in operation is in doubt? is something you will review? >> well, it is an nrc decision
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but the nrc will be looking at that, i'm sure, based on the events. but, again, this is not to say that we believe that reactor is unsafe. we believe the reactor is safe. there have been -- there is constant scrutiny of the reactors in all of our plants, around the united states. >> chris: would you, based on what happened in japan, the last week, would you build a reactor within 50 miles of 21 million americans? >> certainly where you site reactors and where we site reactors going forward will be different than where we might have sited in the past. >> chris: a game-changer. >> any time there is a serious accident, we have to learn from those accidents and go forward. >> chris: what effect do you expect the events in japan and libya to have on the price of gas at the pump this summer? >> that is hard to expect. my intuition about how the events for example in japan
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would affect the gas prices. libya, any uncertainty in the middle east -- we hope those situations will be resolved. and, the thing that the president stressed is the events in libya, have interrupted a small fraction of the world's supply, and, we have excess cavity in the world. >> chris: on the other hand, would japan -- with japan does it mean there is less demand for gas in the short-term. >> that is the way the markets reacted. but again these are things that we need to go forward, and, you know, the markets say, okay, less demand of oil in japan, therefore, i think is why the price went down, and, in the long run i have to say that we not only should look at what the price of oil is going to be doing in the next day and week, but we also have to be concerned about the price of oil, will be doing, 5, 10, 20 years from today. >> chris: in that regard, in
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2008 you supported ramping up gas prices to coax americans into more green energy, cars and other uses, being more fuel efficient and you said this: let's put it on the screen, somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in europe, where it is now more than $10 a gallon. in that sense, is the gas spike an opportunity for more green energy? >> well, what i'm doing since i became secretary of energy has been quite clear and what i'm duke is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices. we have been very focused as the department of energy on that and in fact the entire administration has been focused on that and the increasing of the my knowledge standards is one way of doing this, a very concerted effort, and -- electric vehicles where we think with in reach, within maybe 4 or 5 years we can be testing batteries, that can allow us to
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go 2, 300 miles on a single charge, a mass marketed -- >> i understand that and that is part of your effort but is the spike in gas prices, does it help in making us more energy efficient. >> the recent spike en gas prices following the huge spike in 200 thou2007-'08 is a remind americans, the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up because of supply and demand issues and we see this in the buying habits of meshes americans as they make choices in the next cars they choose to buy. >> chris: secretary chu thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> chris: from libya to japan to the debate over spending we'll ask our sunday regulars is the president demonstrating leadership? stay tuned. ♪ na, na...
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>> president barack obama: we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells husbais people the will be no mercy. >> chris: during the president's trip to brazil, explains why it was time to act in libya and tie now for our sunday group, brit hume -- yes, brit hume! fox news senior political analyst, mara liasson of national public radio, bill kristol of the weekly standard and fox news political analyst, juan williams. i think it is fair to say, president obama clearly changed course this week on libya, going from serious doubts about military involvement to pushing in the en for td for the use of, was he skillful in bringing about the coalition in which the u.s. is not in the lead.
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>> i don't know, i have been following it as closely as i can and it is hard to tell. it wasn't american leadership. i mean, clearly other countries were calling for action, and prepared to take action, before the united states was. i think that, you know, the atmosphere changed when the arab league came out and called another imposition of the no-fly zone and we have not seen much of that kind of thing from the arab league before. it happened and the u.n. seemed prepared to act at which point the president decided he'd like to participate and i think it the question is, will the military steps being taken by the u.s. and its allies be sufficient and if not will we look back on this and say, had the president been prepared to go sooner, with or without all of these allies, the tide of the conflict might have been turned and if it comes out badly and qaddafi prevails in spite of this, that i think is the question we will not know for the answer for a while and hope the military measures are effective and qaddafi is a
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certain final coward. -- certa >> the arab league is on board and the u.s. is following the british and the french, and we shaped this battlefield in the first 24 hours. is that smart. >> the white house thinks it is and as you said, we shamed the battlefield and u.s. forces are in charge now and the president doesn't seem like he's leading the charge and that is a different model of presidential leadership -- and i think it is intentional. the president has a vision of u.s. leadership in the world that acts in a multi-lateral way, night unilateral way and also has good reasons in the particular region not to be out in front -- as a matter of fact i think that the united states is taking more leadership than the president and the secretary of state are actually claiming to be. in other words, i think they are down playing what the united states is really doing, we are unpopular in the middle east and this is the third war we are
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getting involved with, third shooting war and i think that president obama wants to be extremely careful so america doesn't become the kind of target, reason, crusader for this, it is absolutely on purpose. >> chris: bill, let's talk about the mission. you heard, earlier in the show, admiral mullen say his orders are clear, protect the civilians, don't overthrow qaddafi, that is not the point. and can we live with qaddafi in any sort of power and create a lot of trouble. >> no, we can't and won't leave him in power, the immediate military mission, admiral mullen described the political role is to remove him and military as -- >> how do we get from here to there. >> we protect -- he hasnwe help remove him, indirectly, though i would not, like the president,
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rule noout going in with peace-keeping forces, and, we end up sending in peace-keeping forces. we did that in kosovo and got rid of milosevic. we need to get rid of qaddafi and i think we were slow in doing what we had to do but we have to be effective and we'll see if it is sufficient. we can't, i think -- a hope the obama administration is not taking the position, we hope it works out. we have u.s. forces committed and we can rhetorically pretend we are following, not leading but we need scheduto succeed. >> the president said tuesday after the highly controversial meeting at the white house, senator graham said the ladies of the obama administration who said clearly it was time to take -- get involved in military action and i thought you heard in your interview with admiral mullen the military is described -- the fact is, secretary of defense gates, the republican,
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and conservative, was one who said, it is a difficult mission for the military and, we don't want to get involved in a third war and, what you have is a situation where the u.s. government has frozen qaddafi's assets and the u.s. government has embargoed purchasing libyan oil and this all serves to isolate qaddafi and i think limit what he can do and, it is going to expedite the fact that qaddafi is -- i don't think there is any way that he stays in power and is not about the u.s. going in there and bombing his home or anything like that. i think leave it to the arabs of the world and let them take the action and take away the way of blaming the u.s. for everything that goes wrong. >> juan put his finger in the same opponent on something that is important about the president's view of the world. to this president the presence and the site of american leads hip? an operation or intervention of this kind is a stigma. i think, his predecessors and many people in the country
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believe american leadership is essential and is not delegitimatizing in any way and, the war i have, is if the president has the viewpoint about military and other interventions, around the world, he's going to be in a position forever following and it isn't that it isn't a good idea to have allies and not even that it is not a good idea to have allies who appear to be in the lead. the problem is that when it gets down to it, and we're seeing it now, over libya, american forces are the most capable in the world even as stressed as we are. we're hearing today america will soon turn over the command and control operations to other forces. well, why do we have it in the first place? because of our capability. there is so much -- if we are hesitant because we fear american leadership is ugly in the world it will be a problem for a long time to come. >> chris: but, mara, with the u.s. already involved in two wars, is it a bad thing to have
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this attack announced by nicholas sarkozy and david cameron, the british prime minister and the french president, is it so bad for us to be -- >> i don't think so. look, i can tell you the white house thinks absolutely not. it is okay if other people are out there, waving the flag and we're actually doing the real substantive work of making it happen and don't forget, this is a complicate situation and not just libya, there is tunisia and egypt, where the president some say worked too solely and bahrain, tear gas can teristers all over the ground, and they say u.s.a. on the side of them and we are not willing to be as forceful in favor of the protesters and see that as a sectarian struggle there but this is complicated and in the end, if qaddafi is gone the president will look like he exercised strong leadership.
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>> chris: i want to switch it a little bit on this. there is a the lot of criticism of the president, he failed to show leadership, whether on libya or japan or even the budget deal. and there is also the optics of it. continuing with the trip to brazil. while u.s. forces go into war, playing golf while japan's story broke and he also took time to go on tv, to announce his n.c.a.a. brackets. latter watch. >> have you had any chance to see byu. >> president barack obama: unbelievable. best scorer obviously in the country, great talent, but, they've lost their inside presence... >> chris: has as a bigger issue, the president failed to show leadership, or at the least has he been tone deaf that's problems stack up. >> butler defeated pitt last night and blew up the president's bracket! not to mention all of us. that was good. i wouldn't have advised him to be quite as you know -- spend
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quite as much time on his bracket picks over the past week and at the end of the day with his policies -- there is not much he could have been doing about japan and libya he was too slow and we paid a price for that and libyans were killed and qaddafi strengthening himself and now, he needs to be sure he goes and if he does people will forget he was on tv talking about his brackets and maybe will forget he was a big booster of pitt's chances. and under rated, the fine little school indianapolis, butler! knock off the big giant! >> i tell you where i think the conservative argument that he is dithering and passive has some traction, which is on the budget issue, and you saw the senators, bipartisan group of senators here in washington -- >> 64 senators, 32 republicans, 32 democrats. >> correct. send a letter saying, it is time for you to exercise leadership and you have had the deficit commission, you are the president of the united states, but the president looks to be sort of --
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>> dithering, i love it when juan says the president is dithering! >> i don't think the letter used the word leadership. >> they wanted him to be involved and take' stand and it looks like now, he's a poker player, holding his chips. >> that is exactly why -- by design. >> chris: that seems to be a conscious policy on the part of the white house. >> this is who is running the white house, to say, you know, we're about getting reelected and he should be showing leadership and the libya and yap thing, i think he's fine. >> on the budgets, the white house, they say they have a plan, there's a timetable for this and the president will get involved, not just yet. >> chris: not just yet. he'll be patient. thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our web site, foxnewssunday.com and we'll post the video before noon eastern time, up next, we hear from you.
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